breaking news Ten years after the Utøya massacre, survivors call to question right-wing extremism

breaking news

The island has had a makeover. Its wooden buildings have been renovated. But the bullet holes on some walls and the memorial erected in a clearing testify to the drama that played out on this piece of earth.

On July 22, 2011, Anders Behring Breivik, disguised as a police officer, fired for more than an hour at a Labor Youth summer camp, killing 69 people, most of them teenagers. Earlier, the neo-Nazi detonated a bomb near the seat of government in Oslo, killing eight other people.

Anders Behring Breivik had detonated a bomb near the seat of government in Oslo. (AFP)

To burst the abscess?

According to Astrid Eide Hoem, the abscess was not punctured. (AFP)

This Thursday, Norway celebrates its painful 10th anniversary. The opportunity, hope the survivors, to burst the abscess. “How did young white men who grew up like us in Norway, went to the same schools and lived in the same neighborhoods, developed views so extreme that they felt they allowed them to kill? We failed to discuss it, ”laments Astrid Eide Hoem.

She was 16 when, trapped with hundreds of other young people on Utøya, she believed her time had come. “I love you more than anything on Earth. Don’t call me. You are the best parents in the world, ”she wrote, hidden in an escarpment, in a farewell text to her parents.

During the next two weeks, she did not know which funerals of comrades to go to, so many were there.

We did not discuss the political ideology behind

Now head of the Labor Youth (AUF), she regrets today that, if the killer was indeed sentenced to the maximum sentence – 21 years in prison, extendable indefinitely – Norway has still not put the convictions on trial. that animated it. “We discussed the unpreparedness of the emergency services, the number of police officers we must have in the street, the number of helicopters, the memorials, Breivik’s mental health… But we did not discuss the political ideology behind, ”she said.

In August 2019, Norway was again bereaved by a far-right attack. After having racially shot his adopted half-sister of Asian origin, Philip Manshaus shot in a mosque near Oslo, before being overpowered by worshipers, without causing serious injuries.

Utoya massacre survivor Elin L'Estrange poses in a park in Jessheim on June 7, 2021. Ten years after the bloodiest attack in Norway's post-war history, survivors of the Utoya massacre say the country
“We failed to deal with the political aspect of the attack,” said Elin L’Estrange. (AFP)

“That there are people who still share Breivik’s ideas, that we had another terrorist attack in Norway by someone deeply inspired by Breivik shows that we have failed to deal with the aspect. policy of the attack ”, underlines Elin L’Estrange, who had escaped Utøya by swimming.

“A movement that must be taken seriously”

“In the United States, New Zealand and many other countries there have been attacks directly inspired by Breivik. It is an international movement that we must take seriously, which is dangerous, ”said the young woman.

On Utøya as in Oslo, where a left coalition led by Jens Stoltenberg – now head of NATO – seated, Anders Behring Breivik had deliberately targeted Labor. He criticized this historically dominant force in the country for making the bed of a multiculturalism that he abhorred.

On the Norwegian political scene, the “trolls” have found a place in the sun

The victims of yesterday have since been accused of instrumentalizing the tragedy each time they wanted to debate its ideological springs and denounce the anti-immigration rhetoric, sometimes inflammatory, of the populist right. No touch on freedom of expression, they retorted.

“It was AUF that was gagged after July 22,” said journalist and ex-left-wing MP Snorre Valen, author of the book “The Utøya Card”. “On the Norwegian political scene, the ‘trolls’ have found a place in the sun. AUF had to remain cloistered, ”he wrote in a column.

Well placed to take the reins of power after the legislative elections of September 13, the Labor Party has pledged, at the request of its young movement, to create a commission to investigate the mechanisms of radicalization.

“We often talk about Islamist terrorism, which is also important,” says Astrid Eide Hoem. “But it’s weird that we spend so much time talking about it in Norway, when what has taken lives here over the past ten years is right-wing extremism.”

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